Japan: Kishida Cabinet Loses 3rd Minister in Under a Month

    Photo: Reuters

    The Facts

    • Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday night accepted the resignation of his ally and former internal affairs minister Minoru Terada, who has been caught up in funding-related scandals. He's the third Cabinet member to leave in less than a month.

    • This comes as attacks against Terada have escalated in recent weeks over alleged irregularities, including misuse of political funds and erroneous funding reports submitted by his support groups.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    While the Kishida admin. has seen its political capital shrinking and has been heavily criticized for failing to quickly respond to personnel crises involving ministers, LDP intraparty disputes also play a significant role in this indecisiveness. As no faction has a strong grip on power and Kishida leads the smallest one, other leaders must be consulted before any decision is taken. His hands are tied.

    Narrative B

    Kishida is at a crossroads now, and internal opposition within the LDP could emerge if his low approval ratings are considered a threat to the party in local assembly elections next year. A Cabinet reshuffle — which some speculate is likely — would only escalate the conflicts without guaranteeing a boost in his popularity, but dissolving the lower house — a move that could restore his authority — may be too risky.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the LDP will lose its status as the largest party in the House of Representatives of Japan by Nov. 2043, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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